Wicked Tune, the Florida-bred winner of Saturday's Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park, is a poster boy for the resilient racehorse. Now 7, Wicked Tune has won 10 of his 33 starts, with 10 more in the money, and behind him in the Turf Sprint were a pair of 6-year-olds in second and third.
In addition to being notable for toughness and speed, Wicked Tune possesses an unusual pedigree. He is inbred 2×3 to the little-known sire Concorde Bound, a Grade 3 stakes winner who died young. From 65 foals, Concorde Bound sired nine stakes winners (nearly 15 percent). Among those stakes winners was Concorde's Tune, a stakes winner and the sire of Wicked Tune. Another of Concorde Bound's nine stakes winners was Pretty Momma, and she is the second dam of Wicked Tune.
Through four seasons of racing, Concorde Bound was one of the stars of New England racing, and he earned his greatest distinction with a victory in the G3 Suffolk Downs Sprint Handicap at 3, although he also ran second in the race at 5. The horse won 11 of his 26 starts, with seven more in the money, but neither his solid race record nor his good pedigree suggested that he would have an unusual chance of success at stud.
Concorde Bound was the second foal out of the stakes-placed Grey Sister, a daughter of leading broodmare sire Iron Ruler (by Never Bend). And Concorde Bound was one of 20 stakes winners by French highweight Super Concorde, the “other” son of Bold Reasoning.
Bold Reasoning, a freakishly fast and imposing horse by Boldnesian (Bold Ruler), is principally known to racing fans as the sire of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. A champion each of the three seasons he raced and Horse of the Year at 3 when he won the Triple Crown, Seattle Slew was from the first crop by Bold Reasoning.
Super Concorde was from the second.
The second foal of the imported mare Prime Abord, Super Concorde was a first-class 2-year-old when racing in France, where he won the Group 1 Prix Morny and Grand Criterium in 1977.
That was the year that Seattle Slew swept through the Triple Crown unbeaten, and with the great American colt and a highweighted juvenile overseas to represent their sire, breeders and racing commentators had some inkling of the very special stallion the breed had lost when Bold Reasoning died from colic in April of 1975.
Bold Reasoning sired two and a half crops with two champions, and he produced a lasting effect on the breed as a result with 16 percent stakes winners to foals.
Uniting the speed of Bold Ruler and Boldnesian with the size of his broodmare sire Hail to Reason, Bold Reasoning was a model for the contemporary leading sires where size and speed are paramount. Perhaps not coincidentally, Bold Reasoning was also a 2-year-old in training who sold out of the Hialeah sale of Florida-bred juveniles in 1970.
Winning his first seven starts as efforts of high speed, Bold Reasoning attracted the attention of breeder-owner Nelson Bunker Hunt, who bought the horse after his 4-year-old season and sent him to stud at Claiborne Farm.
That is where Bold Reasoning sired Seattle Slew and Super Concorde, and Hunt bred the latter.
The breeder sold Super Concorde as a yearling for $200,000, and racing for Walter Haefner, Super Concorde won four of his five starts at 2, including the pair of G1s mentioned above. The colt's natural style was to race in front, which he used to win his first three races, including the Prix Morny.
After fighting his jockey in the Prix de la Salamandre and finishing fourth, Super Concorde became more agreeable to rating in the European style and won the Grand Criterium impressively after being held up.
The big, robust colt was considered a serious prospect for any of the European classics in 1978 but did not quite reproduce his juvenile form in three starts and was repurchased by Hunt for stud in the U.S., where he went to stud at Gainesway Farm.
Standing for a $20,000 fee, Super Concorde was a moderate success as a sire, getting 20 stakes winners, including the Florida Derby winner Croesus and G1 winner Super May, as well as Concorde Bound. But Super Concorde's European group winner Big Shuffle has been the stallion's most important link to contemporary pedigrees.
Big Shuffle showed high speed in his racing, winning at group level and placing second in the G1 July Cup, and on his retirement to stud in Germany, he became one of the most important continental sources of quality speed. Big Shuffle led the sire list in Germany four times and was also a leading broodmare sire and an important jumps sire.
But for the brevity of Concorde Bound's career at stud, perhaps he would be widely recognized as the best stallion son of Super Concorde on this side of the Atlantic.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is a private consultant to breeders on pedigrees, matings, and conformation. He is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
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